Re-stringing or replacing your acoustic guitar strings is an important part of owning a guitar and hence can be considered as a handy skill to be adept at. Old guitar strings often reach a point where they no longer provide the same sound as they did the first time you played them. They get corroded with sweat and dirt and are prone to breaking. Once you change the strings, it will not only feel better to play, but also produce a more fine tuned definition to the sound coming from the guitar. It’s common knowledge that changing your guitar strings once in three months is a mandate, but it can also depend on the number of hours you play your guitar. Though there are many music stores that you can visit to get your strings changed, this skill is considered as a “must know” for musicians or for anyone who owns a guitar.
Get your tools ready!
Here are a few of the tools you need to keep in hand to be able to change your guitar strings.
A new set of strings !
A string winder
Let’s get started!
The first step, as obvious as it may sound, is to remove the strings. Many people make the mistake of cutting them with the tension on. The right way to go about it is to slacken the strings using the help of a string winder. Once the strings are loose, you can cut them using the wire cutter. After this you need to pull out each string pin to release the string ball ends from the bridge. You can remove the remnants of the strings wound around the machine heads with the help of pliers. These are sharp and can hurt you, if handled incorrectly.
Now that your strings are out, it’s probably a good idea to give your guitar a scrub down. Cleaning the guitar with the strings on can be a task as it’s difficult to get in between all the grooves. So, using a lint-free cloth, give a quick wipe to the body, fret-board and neck of the guitar.
The next step is to thread the ball end of the string through the hole in your guitar's bridge. Once the string is sufficiently in, push the string pin in with the groove pointing to the neck of the guitar. Once you are sure the string pin is firmly in place and won’t pop out, go to the other end of the string and feed it through the hole of its corresponding machine head (commonly known as the tuning peg). Before you can tighten the string, ensure that you build a bit of slack into it so that there is enough string to go around the machine head. Once done, feed the tail end of the string into the machine head and tuck it underneath the string. Pull the tail end tight and upwards which will help hold it in place. Once secure, you can start winding the string manually or by using a string winder. Ensure that the tail end remains underneath the main portion of the string while you’re winding it. Once it has been tightened sufficiently, repeat the same process with the other strings.
Once all six strings have been replaced successfully, take your wire cutter and trim the excess string on each machine head. Now, it’s time to grab your guitar tuner and tune your baby to perfection!
And there you have it, you are now all set to play your freshly strung guitar!
Always remember, once you have successfully changed your strings, ensure to dispose of them carefully especially if you have a child or pets at home!